Street Talk

Last Friday’s Job Fair was a huge success. Not only were there more people looking to hire than imagined, but turnout of those looking for jobs was more than thought. Bob Tyler, the county head of the economic development, seemed temporarily pleased. I say temporarily because Bob is a guy who never seems really satisfied. 

Being never satisfied is something to aspire to, as it means you always think there is more and that more may be better. It means you are willing to try and see what is possible. It is an attitude you want in economic development and perhaps in life as well. No idea on the amount of connections and offers that were made in those four hours, but it seemed significant and a good direction for all. 

Last Thursday on Valentine’s Day I was at both the high school and elementary school. Maybe the best day to go to a school. The students seemed to be enjoying it, there seemed a drawn heart on everyone’s cheek and there were balloons aplenty. 

As a former teacher, having taught sixth to 12 grades with the exception of 11th, walking the halls and going in the offices, classrooms, cafeterias, and gyms brought back good memories.  I’ve taught in several states, including this one, and overseas in an International Baccalaureate school (kind of the British system). Here’s why I know what we have in Water Valley. For one we have good teachers. I don’t want to use the mild sounding comparative or over abused superlative here, just simply declare they are solid and good and hard-working and dedicated and professional and all that you would want in a teacher for your child. 

Plus, backing up the teachers is the school leadership. They’re sincere and capable and innovative. The staff is determined and experienced. There are a lot of positives in our school system. A school is only as good as the people in it.

The buildings are more than adequate in size for the current population, in fact they were built for more students, but they need some attention. The current build dates for the various buildings range from 1961 to 1981. The buildings are structurally solid, the locations in town are great, the designs still very functional and conducive for education. But they need significant upgrades, as anything that long in service will

There is a bond proposal March 19 for those improvements.  It has to be voted on to be approved and it needs a clear majority of 60 percent to pass. It will cost you more in taxes, but not much more. If you have an average value house in Water Valley, it is like 15 cents a day. 

This will make the schools solid for another 20 years. Kids not yet born will benefit, they’ll be in college by then. This is long range thinking and improvements. More details to come. Education is the key to all of us doing better. 

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